Sunday, March 31, 2013

Dear Keara and Kailei...

Wish I was there to celebrate Easter with you. I'm sure you looked great in your new Easter outfits. Did you have fun finding Easter eggs? The weather looked like it was going to be nice. Are you having fun with Grandma? Daddy sent me a picture of Grandma's strawberry salad and it looked delicious!

Wish you were here with me but you would be freezing. I love you and miss you very much. Take good care of the dogs (and Daddy too!)

Happy Easter!

Miss everyone but wanted to wish you a Happy Easter from Berlin!

Day 2

We walked, and walked and walked. That's all I remember.

Well, sort of. This morning was a bus tour of Berlin. It is a huge city. we had a great guide who was both informative and funny. Highlights included a holocaust memorial, Olympicpark, the Berlin Wall and more.

I love all the graffiti on the wall and wish I could have taken pictures of every section.

It has been very cold. They say it has been the coldest in what has been forever. It snowed off and on and was pretty with all the big flakes.

We took a river cruise and I wish I could relay what we saw but I couldn't hear a thing. The hot chocolate however was very tasty and it was warm.

Had lunch at a great Italian restaurant. it was the best minestrone soup ever. And we were inside and warm.

Went to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum in the afternoon. We attempted another museum but it was too crowded so just walked around. We walked a ton. That's all I can say.

Had dinner at a Russian restaurant. It was very quaint. I'm still very cold so hoping a hot shower will thaw me out.

Other highlights.... Buddy Bear, marsh land, green go guy, happy hotdog, .50 cents bathroom stops

Saturday, March 30, 2013

And we are off

So Zeb, the girls and the three dogs headed down to Walsh last night to spend Easter with Grandma. Mitch and family also descended on the small town so I'm sure the cousins will enjoy being with each other.

I left this afternoon with 15 students from Cherokee Trail along with two other chaperones, my friend Michael and my principal. It has been a series of little adventures ever since.

We started out waiting for one student at check-in. We waited and waited. This was not expected from so one of us stayed to wait and the rest of us headed to the gate. On the off chance the student was already at the gate, I forged ahead of the group. Luckily I found her there so I called my principal to come join us. (adventure 1)

Naturally the kids wanted to be able to sit together on the plane. I had checked seating assignments and we basically had two rows. The students sat basically where they should of but I had one student standing. I knew which seat we were supposed to have and went to speak with the woman. She was not happy. she did not want to show her boarding pass and she did not want to move. she insisted it was her seat and she should not have to leave. The flight attendant came over and asked to see her boarding pass. She refused her as well. It was obviously double-booked and now they really wanted everyone seated. Finally the flight attendant managed to get the lady moved, our student sat down and we were able to take off. I was exhausted from that little exchange. (adventure 2)

Lastly, about mid-evening we were woken by a flight attendant. One of our students was sick. she has thrown up and was currently on oxygen and sleeping in the bathroom. we managed to get her into a bed in business class and are hoping that it is just motion sickness and all will be well. Time will tell. (adventure 3)

We are about to land and will hop another plane into Berlin.


Well, we missed our plane by about 2 minutes. Rebooked for one that leaves in an hour. (adventure 4)

After finally arriving in Berlin we headed to the hotel and dropped off our luggage. Our guide's name is Anga and she is nice and patient with us Americans.

We hopped on the subway and headed down to Alexander Square. We are all tired and cold. There are a million Dunkin' Donuts here so I have scouted out breakfast.

After a quick stop in the square we did about an hour walking tour. Unfortunately we really just passes things by and didn't go in anywhere.

Dinner was a buffet on the "top shelf" of an apartment store. Reminded us all of IKEA. After dinner we walked down part of the wall. Unfortunately it was dark and very cold so pictures are minimal.

It seemed to take us an hour or two to finally make it back to the hotel. We are all pooped. Planning on posting this and crawling into bed. Just found out it is daylight savings time here so we will lose an hour sleep. Sigh....

Hope i'm more coherent tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013


Looking at the faces on money.

Kailei: Who's this?
Zeb: Well, that is Thomas Jefferson.
Kailei: I think I know nine presidents. There is George Washington, President George Bush, and I think President George Clooney.


Zeb: "You don't understand what I mean."
Kailei: "No one does."


Her advice after I fell...
"All I can say is watch where you are going." 


Zeb and I: "Maybe sometime we will take out our wedding video so you can watch it."
Kailei: "I'd rather see Star Wars."


Kailei: "Can I see the new mini-ipad?"
Me: "Sure."
Kailei: "'s like electronic heaven!"


 Zeb was prepping Kailei to be alone for a few minutes.
Kailei: "Dad, I'm 8 years old. I was born to do this!."

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Europe Bound

I'm taking 15 students to Berlin and then to Prague over spring break. It will be a trip similar to the one I did a few years ago when I went to China. My friend Michael is once again joining me and then our principal will be attending as a chaperone as well. We leave on Friday and then will return the following Friday giving me a weekend to rest up before I hit it hard for fourth-quarter. I hope to blog while I'm there. Stay tuned…

Friday, March 22, 2013

Physical Therapy

... Is torture. I go twice a week. She basically massages my arm which as it turns out is the most painful thing about it. And then I have to do some other exercises. The good news is my arm is getting better. I see the doctor in two weeks and will know more then.

I draw a lot of attention with my bionic arm. Truly I can't wait to take this thing off.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Kailei's Lion Solo

A Trip to the Circus

Tonight we went to the circus. Kailei's school had a special event for all the kids. In fact all the kids were the performers. Kailei was a lion. Notice that she's in pink. That is because she failed to tell her mother that she was a lion. I thought I was supermom having managed to scrounge up a clown costume from a friend of mine but no, she really needed to be a lion. Keara put her artistic talents to work and made a mask for Kailei to use. At least in pink she wasn't hard to find. The specials (pe, music, art and technology) program in her school always does such a great job showcasing what they have been up to recently.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Leprechaun Trap

The girls spent St. Patrick's Day making a leprechaun trap. I thought it was very creative.

Snow What Fun!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

My Bionic Arm

After a week in my sling I finally got to visit the orthopedist. He basically confirmed with the ER had said in terms of my dislocating my elbow. That said he put me in this lovely brace which is heavier and more awkward than the sling was. I have to go to physical therapy twice a week but I guess I'll look really cool with my bionic arm for the next month or so.

Kailei's Happy Place

Kailei on the Great Wall
My happy place is China. China is my happy place because it is calm and soothing, very hot. I like to see the pandas. It is as if the panda was a warm soothing blanket. But instead it's fur is very hard and dry. The sun is really quite hot. It's as if I were the queen of China. My family walked the Great Wall of China you know. The Great Wall of China is quite long and it was as if I was as tall as the moon. I love China. That's my favorite happy place.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Monday, March 4, 2013

You Are Never to Old... fall that is. I was over at Kailei's Chinese school and decided to take a walk. The open space where I usually go was muddy and snowy so I decided to take the sidewalks which looked pretty clear. About 10 minutes into my walk I fell on ice. I fell forward and when I got up I immediately knew something was wrong with my arm. I wasn't quite sure what to do and while I had my phone with me, I was listening to music and didn't actually put two and two together. A really nice man stopped and asked me if I needed help, if he could make a phone call for me or if he could take me somewhere. I decided to take it up on his offer and at least bring me back the Chinese school.

My girlfriend who is normally there wasn't there that weekend. I called mom and asked her to pick up Kaylei not even thinking that I can actually pull her out of class and take her with me. Zeb was unavailable since he was playing basketball. I then called my good friend Judith who lives just around the corner and was nice enough to say she would take me to the emergency room. The nice man waited until she arrived and then we bid our goodbyes without even me getting his name.

After pain meds and xrays, it turns out I dislocated my elbow which I might admit is very painful. They put me under to put it back into place and then sent me on my way in a sling. Good thing it is my left arm and not my right but things are still a pain in the butt to try and accomplish. Guess this is God's way of telling me to slow down a little bit.